The healthcare debate has allowed Congressman Chris Smith to get a good deal of attention and he now has a new distinction according to catholics.org along with Congressman Bart Stupak for getting their amendment included in the health bill that passed:
It is men and women like Bart Stupak and Chris Smith who are the models of public service for all Catholics and other Christians.
Smith has been pushing the abortion button relentlessly throughout the healthcare debate. For him, the healthcare bill itself has seemed more like an afterthought. Some people have said that the Stupak amendment is a poison pill in the Senate including Rachel Maddow talking about the bill on Meet the Press this past Sunday. There have since been 40 members of the house who have said they will not vote for any bill that contains the Stupak language in the final version:
By late Monday, Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado had collected more than 40 signatures from fellow members who vowed they would not vote for a combined House-Senate health care bill if it contains language “that restricts women’s right to choose any further than current law.”
It really is pretty amazing that while Congressman Smith pushed for this during the years that his party held the White House and controlled Congress, it took the Democrats taking control to have him get the results. It still remains to be seen whether the language of the Stupak amendment survives a conference committee, but it has made it this far.